Emancipation Proclamation


Emancipation Proclamation Essay, Research Paper

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation On September 22,1862 President Abraham Lincoln first issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This document stated that slaves would be free with some exceptions. Earlier at a July 22, 1862, cabinet meeting, the president announced that he had decided to declare the emancipation of Southern slaves. The enlistment of 29,000 blacks in the Union army of the civil war forced Lincoln to make that important decision. Then on New Year’s Day, January 1,1863, he declared that slaves held in southern states, “Shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” But slaves in the Border States of Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky and about all of the Northern states were exempt from this policy. Also for Southern slaves to be truly free they must escape to the North. The statement also included that former slaves refrain from all violence unless in self-defense. In addition, that they faithfully work for reasonable labor wages. President Lincoln further declares that slaves of suitable condition will be accepted in the United States armed forces. The Emancipation Proclamation received many different responses just here in the North. Slaveholders in Union states were glad that they could keep their slaves. Abolitionists and Radical Republicans hailed Lincoln’s actions as a omen of slavery’s death. While other Northerners were concerned that freeing millions of formerly enslaved African-Americans would cause mass unemployment and unrest, and objected almost as strongly as the South. But this has recently changed as Union soldiers have begun to see that blacks in the army can help win the Civil War. Two major effects have risen due to the Proclamation. One is that European sympathy has increased, and the possibility of Europe aiding the South in its “cotton diplomacy” has failed. Also the Northern army has been able to start raising all black regiments which have become extremely well fighting combat units. There are now almost 100,000 blacks fighting for our way of life. There are even rumors that the black regiments go to battle with inferior weapons and supplies. These are just a few pieces of evidence that President Lincoln made the right and moral decision. This act was somewhat futile due to it being virtually unenforceable in the South. So even if this new declaration is not helping much, it is now Union goal. Most people in the North believe that this is the means of victory. Lincoln has broadly interpreted the constitutional war powers of the President. But that does not matter right now because this is a step towards the abolishment of slavery for an estimated remaining 4 million suffering slaves in the U.S. ~By Matt Cardillo

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